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September, 2021 Edition
Kids by a Lake
Dealing with Labor Shortages

Labor shortages are affecting every business. Supply chain restraints, lack of basic labor, and political issues all contribute. There is no simple answer, but a few techniques may help improve the situation.

Scheduling can be an area of great reward or the downfall of a labor starved business. Make sure your schedules are lean and build in contingencies for no-shows, illness, and lost workers. Employees like flexible scheduling and flex days off. You may want to consider limited paid volunteer time. Younger employees want to know they are making a difference. Paying for a few hours per month of volunteer time helps you retain employees and reflects well on your business. Labor shortages are so severe that some Businesses are adjusting open hours. I recently read about a busy restaurant that is now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Existing workers are re-assigned to peak periods.

Work Atmosphere
Create a positive workplace. No one wants to work for someone grumpy all of the time. No one has a desire to work in a drama-ridden environment that stresses you every day. Creating an atmosphere that induces loyalty will make it easier to maintain and strengthen your workforce. Incentives for performance help you attract and keep loyal employees. Many businesses hire short-term, temporary employees to deal with specific jobs that do not require full-time labor. Reach out to the elderly many retirees like to work part-time and have a reliable work ethic.

Automate where you can.
Use technology to automate simple, redundant processes. Automation reduces labor needs and prioritizes critical aspects of a job. Employees appreciate the reduction of mundane tasks. Some restaurants are using tablets for both ordering and paying for meals. Technology reduces the need for wait staff and frees existing employees to work on satisfying customer needs. McDonald’s is testing voice-automated drive-thrus, and experts suggest we may start seeing them within five years.

Review your processes.
Cut the fat and streamline the meat of your operation. Cutting unnecessary tasks can create time and reduce communications, both of which frees up labor. Simplify where ever possible. Review suppliers and reduce the number if you can. Dealing with suppliers can be a time suck. Consider pre-made products if possible this reduces labor needs and labor costs. Efficiency may be the key to dealing with labor shortages.

Labor shortages may be around for a while; adjusting strategies now may prepare you for the long haul. These steps can help businesses that are not experiencing current labor shortages. It never hurts to make quality employees happier.

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Kindergarten Taught Us A Lot About Business
September 2021 Marketing Edge Blog Post

Smile  Just For Grins  Smile
  • My wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo. I had to put my foot down.
  • What's a frog's favorite type of shoes? Open toad sandals.
  • Isn't it odd the way everyone automatically assumes that the goo in soap dispensers is always soap? I like to fill mine with mustard, just to teach people a lesson in trust.
  • Get into a crowded elevator and say, "I bet you are all wondering why I gathered you here today."
  • Make vanilla pudding. Put in mayo jar. Eat in public.
  • Hire two private investigators. Get them to follow each other.
  • Where a shirt that says "LIFE". Stand on a street corner and hand out lemons.
  • The path to inner peace begins with five words. This is not my problem.
  • Major in philosophy. Ask people WHY they would like fries with that.
  • Run in to a store, ask what year it is. When someone answers, yell "It worked!" and run out cheering.
  • Follow joggers around in your car blasting "Eye of the Tiger" for encouragement.
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Kindergarten Taught Us A Lot About Business
September 2021 Marketing Edge Blog Post

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